Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

“Bear with us”: 3rd Street repaving project starting this summer

3rd and Verbeke streets will receive a pedestrian-friendly facelift as part of the 3rd Street repaving project.

Pedestrians, drivers and bus-riders each will have something to gain with Harrisburg’s plans to repave 3rd Street. But first, the city will experience some growing pains.

“Bear with us,” City Engineer Wayne Martin said at today’s public information meeting at Strawberry Square. “I think everyone is so excited that we are paving roads. However, we are going to try to minimize the inconvenience.”

The repaving and beautification project is slated to begin in July and run through October, wrapping up late next year, Martin said.

The city has not yet determined dates for road closures or parking restrictions, pending selection of a contractor. An online map updated by city officials reflects the street closures, which will include closures on busy 3rd Street. The city and SP+ will work together to notify residents of parking changes, Martin said.

Construction crews will repave 3rd Street in small chunks. Work will take place at these three sections of 3rd Street:

  • Chestnut Street to Forster Street
  • Forster Street to Muench Street
  • Maclay Street to Seneca Street

This project skips the recently repaved strip of 3rd Street in front of the Capitol complex. However, most of 3rd Street has not been repaved in 20 years.

Crews will pave at night to minimize road closures that could disrupt commuters, Martin said, adding that loud work, such as jackhammering, will occur during daytime hours to minimize disturbances for residents.

“[It’s] a balancing act,” he said, adding that the city will “scrutinize” any lane restrictions before 9 a.m. and after 3 p.m.

Curb extensions called bump outs will include green infrastructure elements designed to filter storm water. More than 120 trees placed in specially designed planters will naturally filter contaminants before entering the city’s water infrastructure, Martin said. In addition, crews will install more than 150 ramps that comply with accessibility standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Updates to six traffic signals will ease crossings for pedestrians, Martin said. The updates include chirping noises to indicate safe crossing times. Traffic signals will be retimed in a way that’s designed to allow pedestrians to cross safer, he said.

Bus stops will be moved to safer locations and, in some instances, consolidated to be made more efficient, Martin said.

For the project, the city obtained more than $3 million in grants from PennDOT and Impact Harrisburg, a nonprofit set up as part of the Harrisburg Strong Plan. Impact Harrisburg awarded Capitol Region Water $500,000 for this project’s storm water management aspects.

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